15 January 2018

by Richard Heitmann, 
Sales Director – AURES Technologies Ltd

Cinemas occupy a unique position in the service industries. Along with perhaps bowling alleys, they are the only widespread type of operation which straddles the leisure, hospitality and retail industries under a single business structure.

This creates various organisational challenges to the logistical, financial and customer-facing service sides of the business. One is getting the right POS systems in place to provide the right features and functions for the different parts of the operation.

With ticket sales, snacks and drinks and perhaps a bar or café all under the same roof, cinemas create lots of different demands for sales processing and administration. Unlike many businesses, a single type of POS – one which integrates with stock control, a system with mobile terminals for taking orders at tables – is not enough.

Cinema operators need flexibility in their POS solutions. Here are the typical things they might need to look for.

Just the ticket

Ticket sales are the heart of any cinema operation. Because tickets do not involve selling a physical product, the main front desk sales terminals in a cinema do not need to loaded with extensive stock control software, which means that the computer hardware itself does not necessarily need to be as high capacity as most retail POS hardware are.

Ticket POS systems need to come with software which links to time and seating plans. This is something your dealer can advise on sourcing. 

As more and more customers are increasingly purchasing cinema tickets online, the on-site POS and e-commerce platforms need to share the same seat booking system. Another thing to think about is print-at-home or e-tickets. Laser QR code or barcode scanners can be used away from the main sales desk to scan theses tickets and reduce queue times. The final piece of the jigsaw for ticket sales POS is printing. To manage the volumes of people passing through a busy cinema, you need high capacity, high volume printers integrated with the point of sale terminals.

Snack time

Cinema snack bars are mainly retail outlets selling pre-packaged sweets, chocolate, popcorn, pop and other snacks. As with all retail outlets, integrating POS systems with stock control helps to make operations more efficient and responsive. Snack bars are not huge outlets, so the stock control software need not be hugely powerful. But at busy times when large volumes are passing through the till, that extra foresight from automated stock control can make all the difference in replenishing shelves quickly.

The other thing to consider for a snack bar POS unit is protective, easy clean casing. Handling drinks and popcorn dispensers means there is a lot of sticky produce passing by the sales terminal.

A similar system could be used for a bar or cafe, depending on the requirements.

Find out more

AURES has been specialising in point-of-sale systems for almost three decades. Using the very latest technologies, we provide a wide range of flexible solutions for every purpose. To discuss your requirements, please contact our team today.